In order to improve the Armored Corps’ operational capabilities on the modern battlefield, the corps developed the Merkava Mark 4 Barak. The tank’s new elements include artificial intelligence, updated sensors, and VR capabilities.
“Israel has an Adir [F-35] in the sky and a Merkava-4 Barak on land,” Brig. Gen. Guy Hasson, Chief IDF Armored Corps Officer, said of the new tank, expected to be ready for trial runs in 2020.
The new tank is designed as a “smart tank” with dozens of sensors and a task computer that will present all information to both the crew inside the tank as well as the other tanks and vehicles present in the field. The advanced AI capability will reduce the team members’ workload and help them more accurately locate and strike targets.
“The advanced defense capabilities and the use of electronic means will prepare the combat soldiers to carry out missions according to the level of urgency,” said a senior official from the Armored Corps. “Along with all this, additional logistical improvements will also be introduced that will enable the tank to carry out missions that are up to 30% longer than current ones.”
The tank’s sensors, along with a 360-degree camera fitted outside the tank, will allow troops to remain in the tank at all times and a new smart helmet (Elbit Systems’ Iron Vision) will allow the commander of the tank to see exactly what happens outside the tank.
“The helmet will allow the combat soldiers to see the outside environment from inside the combat vehicle,” added the senior official. “The sensors will allow the combat soldiers to operate the tank in a simple and advanced way, and will contribute to its defense – both physically and technologically.”
The simplification and sharing of intelligence and information via C4I and the interoperability of all vehicles is crucial in order to identify the enemy and provide more precise and rapid fire closure, which allows the tank to eliminate the target before it disappears.
“The Armored Corps concludes a significant period of operational successes in various regions, which proves the relevance of the corps in protecting the security of the State of Israel and its civilians,” continued the senior official. “The new tank brings the Armored Corps a step forward in the operational arena, and constitutes an innovative weapon that will change the face of the combat on the ground.”